I went to see this movie on Friday with Mrs. Hatboy. Long story short, I thought it was great and enjoyed it all the way through. As much as I believe there’s some merit to the “add complaints to balance” argument, I think it’s a false argument that lends far too much weight to the complaints if the movie is an overall positive experience.
It is, if I can go off on a slight tangent, a close sibling to the “intellectual” exercise of giving two opposing viewpoints comparable time of day in any sort of debate. Even if one viewpoint is wrong, insane, downright evil, a minuscule minority or all of the above. Giving them a “balanced” weighting makes the latter seem way more valid than it should. So, even though this is just a trivial movie review, I’m not going there.
I’m going to be lazy here, and just let Comic Book Girl 19 tell you all the stuff I loved about this movie.
Yes, I thought it was great. I chuckled and laughed all the way through and I was exhilarated and interested throughout. It was just plain fun. It all clicked together, it was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to see, and the story was solid. And yes, it had a great ending.
I will also be lazy and throw the Red Letter Media review in, because it once again covers a lot of the stuff I liked and also outlines the usual “well, it’s a Marvel crowd-pleaser so the plot and general structure won’t contain any surprises and may be a bit dull for the jaded cinema-goer” that seems to constitute a criticism these days.
So there, there’s a couple of solid half-hours you can spend watching and/or listening to my basic opinion of this movie. I listened to them on my phone during my morning and afternoon commutes. Well worth the time.
I wasn’t upset by the “formulaic” or “cookie cutter” elements of the plot here. There was a couple of decent bad guys, an interesting series of scenes and settings, a good motivation and a nice ending. Like Deadpool, there’s nothing really wrong with a safe and well-established storytelling formula, not if you put the right decoration on top. In fact, I would argue it goes far beyond decoration. They’ve fundamentally shifted the assumed premise of the entire multiverse, changing the game dramatically. This isn’t just frosting on the usual cake. They’ve changed the cake right down to the base ingredients, while maintaining the necessary ratios to have it remain a cake. And also delicious.
I will say that anyone who is put off by the weird and wacky and wonderful direction Marvel is taking their universe, with Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy set being prime examples, may not enjoy this movie because it goes hurtling and rolling and laughing maniacally in that same direction and completely vanishes over the previously-established horizon. So if you don’t like the way the movies have been embracing the source material more and more (I mean, you know these are comic book movies, right, and the comic books were massively weirder and more psychedelic than these movies?), then stick to the really safe stuff. But keep in mind, this is it for Marvel. This is the way they’re going and I don’t think they’re going to be able to rein it back in for the Infinity War set. That would be truly nonsensical.
In the same vein, a lot of the jokes were either slightly overdone, or telegraphed to a point where I didn’t need them to actually finish them. They might have been better simply implied, or at best punchlined once and then we could move on. But maybe that’s a symptom of the audience, and this condescension is intended for wider age groups and cultures and all that. It’s fine.
The rest of the humour, especially the surreal stuff with Korg (well played, Mr. Waititi), was fantastic. Again I’m not sure how universal the appeal will be, but you can’t have it both ways. It’s either inaccessible, or it’s cookie-cutter. I think this movie walked that line perfectly, so I will not be levelling either criticism against it. And of course the movie needed more Jeff Goldblum. But – as Half in the Bag says – what movie doesn’t?
That’s my review this time. I loved this movie and can’t wait to see it again.